Survey of Dental Hygiene and Occupational Therapy Students' Perceptions of Team Behaviors and Client Satisfaction during an Interprofessional Education Event
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleSurvey of Dental Hygiene and Occupational Therapy Students' Perceptions of Team Behaviors and Client Satisfaction during an Interprofessional Education Event
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Oral hygiene is an aspect of daily self-care that has a significant connection to overall health. There is a direct connection between the condition of the mouth, the condition of other systems in the body, and the transmission of infection throughout the body (Azarpazhooh & Leake, 2006; Li, Kolltveit, Tronstad, & Olsen, 2000; Sloane et al., 2013; Stein & Henry, 2009). Daily oral hygiene to maintain oral health has direct benefits for older adults (Bissett & Preshaw, 2011; U.S. Department of Health, 2011). In contrast, a poor oral hygiene regimen is associated with serious risks to overall health, especially in older adults who have been already diagnosed with certain medical conditions and are at risk for health complications (Azarpazhooh & Leake 2006; Li et al., 2000; Salamone, 2013; Stein & Henry, 2009). As patients age and experience a declining health status that leads them into long term care (LTC), oral hygiene tends to receive less attention than other activities of daily living (ADL) (McNally et al., 2012). Occupational therapy (OT) practitioners and dental hygienists (DH) share similar goals in the effort to improve oral healthcare in all populations. Shared assessments include both cognitive and physiological performance skills. Through a collaborative service learning activity, OT and DH students demonstrated interprofessional skills while performing oral and upper body screening of adult clients from the. Survey results indicate positive student perceptions of team planning, as well as high patient (adult volunteer) satisfaction in the care provided.